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Marcia







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MARCIA, a family originally patrician, but afterwards plebeian. It's surnames are Censorinus, Libo, Philippus. Morell gives forty two varieties of the type, of which the silver are common, the brass rare. Many of the latter pieces are asses or parts of the as, or struck by the moneyers of Augustus.

The Marcia family claimed to derive it's origin from Ancus Marcius, King of the Romans, a claim which is plainly indicated on a silver coin of that house, on which are exhibited the name and portrait of ANCVS, with the lituus behind the head. On the reverse are the word PHILIPPVS, and an equestrian statue on a bridge, underneath the arches of which we read AQVA MARCIA. This is allusive to the famous Marcian aqueduct at Rome, whence flowed another honor to the family. Respecting it Pliny expresses himself in the following emphatic terms:

"The most reknowned of all waters (conveyed by aqueducts) for the merit of it's coolness and the wholesome qualities is, by the city's testimony, that of MARCIA. Ancus Marcius, one of the kings of Rome, was the first to introduce it into the city. In after times Q. Marcius restored it, during his praetorship, and the same thing was done subsequently by M. Agrippa."

With respect to the figure of the horseman placed on the arches of the aqueduct, Eckhel observes that as the same recurs on several coins of the Philippi, it is probable that it may allude to the surname Philippus, although he would not deny that it may probably refer besides to the domestic praise of the family, since both Livy and Pliny bear witness to an eqestrian statue publicly erected to Q. Marcius Tremulus, on his victory over the Samnites. See Ancus Marcius, p. 44.

MARCIA, the praenomen of a woman, taken from Marcus, as MARCIA OTACILIA SEVERA, wife of Philip senior. See Otacilia.

MARCIA, a concubine of Commodus, to whom (according to Lampridius and other historians) above all others that profligate emperor was the most passionately attached, appears depicted on his coins under the form of an Amazon. (Spanheim, Pr. ii. p.292) On the obverse of a fine bronze medallion of this prince (having for the type of it's reverse a sacrificial group) are the joined heads of Commodus and Marcia; that of the former is laureated; that of the other helmeted. The bust of this woman is sometimes clothed in a cuirass; at other times it is accompanied by the Amazonian pelta. This medallion is valued by Mionnet at 200 fr.; and there are others, of equal value, which he describes in his Recueil des Medailles Romaines, and on which, in the opinion of Vaillant, the head of this Amazonian female is to be recognized.


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